Rebalancing From the Inside, Out

A New Year a new you right? To be realistic, there’s no need to fully change who you are but to have ambition to better yourself is definitely the way to go. And with most people preferring to change themselves from the inside out, we spoke with Dr. Laurie Brodsky, a leading expert in the field of integrative medicine, to share some of her key tips to help rebalance your body making you feel and look your best for 2016.

Photographed by Raymond Meier, Vogue, December 2007

Photographed by Raymond Meier, Vogue, December 2007

Nutrition

  • Clean up your diet by eliminating highly processed junk foods, non-organic dairy products, sugary sweets and soda-like beverages, deli meats, pastries and snacks packed with trans fats and artificial ingredients, and gluten-rich foods that tend to clog up your digestive tract.
  • Emphasize fresh, seasonal, local, wild caught and grass-fed foods as often as possible
  • Instead of emphasizing heavy proteins like pork and red meat, opt for at least one to two cups per day of leafy greens like broccoli, cilantro, watercress, cabbage, sprouts and shoots, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that support optimal liver health and can enhance the body’s ability to rid itself of heavy metals and reduce water weight.
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods like almonds, peas, green beans, cauliflower, berries, root vegetables, hemp and chia seeds. These tend to fill you up longer while protecting the delicate lining of your gut.
  • Don’t skimp on the fats: include healthy fats at each meal and snack, such as sliced avocado, humus, nut butters, coconutty-quinoa porridge.
  • Dandelion root is an herb targeted to enhance the liver’s function and improve digestion, and can be sipped in tea form, or as a coffee substitute with unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon and a few drops of organic stevia
  • Ginger root is a warming, anti-inflammatory herb that soothes and heals the digestive tract. Enjoy in a green juice, as warm ginger tea, or in a savory stir-fry or soup.

Sleep

  • Overnight, as you sleep, your body is naturally detoxifying and ridding itself of any impurities and toxin exposures from that day through your primary organs of elimination: the skin, large intestines, kidneys, lungs and nervous system.
  • Get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted, restful sleep each night to ward off chronic disease, balance critical hormone levels including melatonin, and reduce hunger and appetite which easily creep up, often leading to overeating.

Intermittent Fasting

  • 12 Hour Rule: To curb late-night cravings and provide your body with the time it needs to detoxify, refrain from eating for 12 hours from the time of your last meal or alcoholic beverage into the next day. For instance, if you finish dinner at 9pm, do not have breakfast food until at least 9am the next morning (water is OK!)
  • Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways to eliminate sugar and food cravings and shed unwanted weight. Fasting speeds up your body’s ability to detoxify and start burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel.
  • Eat two to three nutritionally-dense meals within an 8-hour window of the day.

Hydrate

  • First thing in the morning, sip a large glass of room temperature water before you do anything else
  • To break your overnight fast, squeeze some fresh lemon into your water for added detoxification, pH balance, gentle tonification of the liver, gallbladder and salivary glands
  • Keep your water bottle filled with tons of fresh, filtered water throughout the day (approximately half of your body weight in ounces of water each day); sprinkle in  a handful of frozen tart cranberries for added cleansing power.

About the Author

Dr. Brodsky received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, and is a state-licensed physician in DC. In her corporate wellness-focused practice, Dr. Brodsky uses a myriad of preventative therapies and strategies with an emphasis on the treatment of digestive, metabolic and cardiovascular concerns to address healing from the inside out. She's also an expert for Dirty Lemon.